Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oct. 27, 2014

Aloha everyone!

It's been two weeks since I got here in Idaho. This past week we've been trying to focus on less active members. We found out that these less actives have some family members that are not yet members of the church. We've been working on helping them know the gospel. 

We cover 2 wards (1st and 15th). Members in each ward are just awesome! They're having hard time saying my surname and so they'd always ask me to say it for them. It's really funny cuz my companion's name is just as hard to pronounce as mine..

Sister Pohahau and I have been busy and tired riding our bikes. I'm still struggling with riding my bike. We have a large area but we are not allowed to use car cuz we are assigned in a biking area mission. Oh well I guess I just need to try a little harder till I get used to it. 

Last week, I was just not motivated to ride my bike and was really home sick so the elders in our district gave me a blessing. I felt better after that. I talked to my mission president as well and he gave me some good advice. The changes and transitions here in the mission field are making me crazy but I know that I have to make effort to get used to these changes.

The weather here is making me crazy as well. Every day, sister Pohahau checks the weather and last week, she'd been saying "it's ugly outside" and I kept saying "at least we're beautiful" :) One day while studying I opened our window and saw the sun rising. It was beautiful. I showed my companion the sunrise. Though sunrise is barely seen here in Twin, I always hope to see the sun every morning. I hated the sun when I was in the Philippines but now I missed the it. 

We had baptism last Saturday. The new member's name is Lucas. He's 19 and he's a really nice man. My companion said he has been struggling with many things but decided to improve his life. I felt like I didn't really teach him. It was my companion and her ex companion who taught him the first few lessons. I got to teach him the last one. The baptism was a spiritual one. We all felt the Spirit and Luke's testimony was short but very powerful. He was confirmed yesterday and I was glad to see his bright smiles. I'm happy to witness how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed this young man's life.

This week, I've also been studying the doctrine of Christ and been focusing on the atonement. I read the scriptures and preach my gospel. While studying, I realized that I didn't really know the meaning of the atonement. Or maybe I knew the literal meaning of Christ's sacrifice, but didn't really apply it in my life. I learned that as a missionary, I can't teach people this principle and other principles if I don't really understand them. So I thought of applying first the things I learned before really teaching them.

Though last week was hard for me, I learned to stretch to strengthen my testimony of the Savior. I learned to take corrections and face my weaknesses humbly. I love being a missionary. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my love and the love of God to the people in Idaho. I know the Savior lives. 

Thank you for your love and support. I'm grateful for all of you! :)

-Sister Taguba

Oct 2,2014

I don't know how to start but I just want to say that I'm doing well. I finally arrived at the Provo MTC  2 days ago, Oct. 1st. Bro and sis. Cox (My friend's parents) dropped me off at 6 am in the morning. I arrived in Salt Lake City on Sept. 30th and stayed at a hotel for a night with bro. and sis Cox. 

I'm freezing here!!!! Super cold!!!!! BUt I got some more good winter coats from the MTC so I'll be fine I guess! haha
Funny experiences: My luggages arrived at the MTC before I did. Well this is the story behind that: I flew from Philippines to Nagoya Japan then to Detroit then finally to Salt Lake City (travelled more than 24 hours CRAZY huh). When I had to check out my baggages at the Salt Lake City airport, I found out that they still had them in DEtroit. We asked the travel officer to mail it to the MTC as soon as they got them. So Bro and Sis. Cox took me to Walmart and brought some clothes for me. Ughhh I was really lucky to have them!!! :)
Spiritual experience: The MTC is a very wonderful place! I feel great to be here! Full of very spiritual young men and young women, I'd say. When I arrived on Wednesday, they asked me to go to class immediately and did English language exam. So if you're a new missionary here at the MTC they put an orange dot on your name tag. I like it cuz when missionaries see us, they'll say "Welcome to the MTC" lol I took it off yesterday but I kinda wanna put it again on Wednesdays! haha

I also  got a  green dot on the first day ( this is for international students learning a new language) THey took off my green dot after testing my English. Because I can already speak English they put me in doctrine classes where I can have an actual demonstration of how to teach investigators. It's really hard! I thought I was ready to preach then when I came here, I found out I still have a little knowledge of the Church doctrines. We had some real non members came up and asked questions about the Church and our beliefs. Ughhh it's was tough but I survived!

One great experience I had was when we met with an investigator from Japan. He is now living in Utah with his wife. He questioned about the existence of God and according to him if God is a loving God then why does God allowed people to suffer and lose their love ones. He was referring to what happened in Japan when earthquake struck it. I couldn't believe he was really firm in his beliefs. Some elders answered his questions. I was touched when one elder stood up and courageously shared his experience when he lost his brother. Before we end the discussion, an elder asked all of us to kneel together and the investigator to pray. It was such an amazing experience for me. The Spirit was super strong.

Companion: My companion is Sister Seo (pronounced as "Saw"). Guess what? She also went to BYU Hawaii!!!!! haha We haven't met there but I thought I knew her before. lol She's really nice and is very patient with me (I'm not used to wearing my name tag yet so I often forget it. One time when I forgot my name tag, we have to walk all the way to our unit again to get it.) Companions should always be together so we should learn to be understanding and patient with each other. 

I met some Filipinos here. Two sisters and elders from the Philipinnes got called to serve in Hawaii.. Their names are Elder Manalo, Elder Valdez, Sister Camo and sister Soriao. They're really fun to be with. We were told not to speak our native language here so it was awkward at first for us to speak only English with each other. Haha 

So yeah, I only have five minutes more to email you guys! Thanks for all your support. I love you all! Missionary work is great. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. I know Jesus lives. :)

I'll email again next week again!

-Sister Taguba

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Aloha family and friends!!
It's been a week and 2 days now since I got here at the MTC! wOW! Can't believe I'm already leaving next week Tuesday and be in the real mission field! I'm soo excited to meet my mission president and his wife, my new companion and the people in Idaho! haha

 WE just had our in field orientation. It was a great activity. My companion was not feeling well so we were not able to attend some of the activities.But it was fine. My companion's health is more important. :)
Okay...I felt like i've been here at the MTC for forever. haha I'm learning so much. I love my MTC instructors, Bro. Gardner and sister Matthews, They just got back from their missions like 2-3 years ago. They're awesome! So our instructors here act us our investigators and haha they're super nice to me and my companion. WE consider them as our golden investigators. haha
WE had TRC this week where we get to meet real or acting investigators and share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our investigator was supposed to be sister Lawanna. She's going through chemotherapy so we didn't get to meet with her. Two days ago I was prompted to write her a letter. I told my companion, Sis. Seo, that our investigator needs words of comfort and encouragement. We were not able to teach her but we hope she gets our letter. Last night though, we taught our instructor, Bro. Gardner. haha He's really funny. The class loves him. He loves the word "awesome" so we tease him every class.
How are you? How was the conference??? I love General conference. Especially Elder Bednar's talk. It's one of my favorites. It's because his talk was not only for us, members and missionaries, but specifically it was for non members. He said that our desire to share the gospel is based on how important the gospel is for us. We already know the truth we should help our friends or families who haven't received yet the gospel I know we have all the responsibility to share the joy we had already experienced. Let our non member friends know about how they can have a better lives as they live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We also had two devotionals this week, Sunday and Tuesday! Ahhhh, I loved it. Brother Vai Sikahema was the speaker on Sunday. He's a Tongan but grew up in Arizona. Sometimes I fall asleep during devotionals but I was awake the whole time when this man spoke. He shared many experiences of him sharing the gospel to everyone. He said we should not be afraid to open our mouth. We have many opportunities to share and serve. ALL we need to do is open our mouth. It was a very powerful talk.
Last Tuesday, Elder Brent Nielson of the Seventy was our speaker. He shared what he learned on his mission. He gave us 10 points to remember while on the mission field. Two of those points are very important to me. 1. Your companion is on your team. Before I applied for my mission, this was maybe one of my worries. I had RM friends who said that they had bad companions and this made their missions miserable. Learning from elder Nielson, I learned that I should embrace my companion and our differences. Here at the MTC, I learned to be patient and be humble. I'm glad Elder Nielson brought this up. 2. We must treasure up D&C 84:85 as missionaries, we teach people not lessons. I experienced this many times. Before I came here, I studied the Preach My Gospel and I thought I knew many things and ready to teach. When I taught my first investigator, I forgot what I memorized. And I felt that the Spirit taught me what to say. I learned that I need to listen to people and know their needs. IT's the Spirit of the LOrd that teaches our investigators. I am just an instrument of the LOrd to invite people, commit them to follow Jesus Christ and follow up with them. 

Today I also got a chance to go to Salt Lake City Temple. They give international missionaries here a tour to Salt Lake Temple before they leave. Ahhhh I loved this temple so much. It's my favorite! the Spirit was super strong. Dream come true! :)

For my non member friends who are getting this email. I want you to know that I love you. Heavenly Father loves you. IF you haven't met yet with the missionaries, let them share the message with you. Look for them around. I promise it will change your lives.
THank you for all your letters and emails.  I love reading them!! I'm sorry if I didn't get to reply to all of you but I'll find a time next week.! SEnd me your addresses so I can write you letters too. :)
THis will be my new address next week.

LOve you all!
Sister Maria Visitacion Otero Taguba
Idaho Twin Falls Mission
421 Maurice St N
Twin Falls, ID 83301-4932